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Servicing the Next Generation of Cars and Customers

A couple of years ago, one of the consumer magazines compared the cars of 1991 to the cars of 2016 and listed the top 15 automotive milestones over that 25-year period. Hybrid technology, stability control and GPS satellite navigation were the top three in order and amazingly enough, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) was number nine. The list was a mix of mechanical and driver-related innovations that made cars better, safer, efficient and more convenient.

Corrosion or lack of lubrication in mechanical braking components can affect a vehicle’s active braking systems.
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Lubrication Keeps Advanced Braking Systems Working Right

If a brake problem is tripping the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), the first impulse usually is to focus on a vehicle’s active braking systems. However, the source of the problem may well be the pads, rotors, drums and shoes of the vehicle’s mechanical braking system.

Figure 1: Demounting the tire with the tool.
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TPMS: Dodge Grand Caravan 2011-17

This vehicle uses the 433 MHz tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor. Although 315 MHz and 433 MHz sensors are identical in size and shape, they are not interchangeable. Always make sure the correct sensor is being used. An RKE-TPMS analyzer can be used to determine the sensors frequency without having to demount the tire.

Bridget Neal, Bridgestone Americas’ commercial OTR tire division president, says the company is “focused on mobility, intelligent products and integrated technology.”
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Bridgestone OTR Tires Move Down the Technology Highway

Bridget Neal was named president of Bridgestone Americas Inc.’s Commercial Off-The-Road Tire Division last August. She is responsible for leading strategic planning, sales, engineering and global support for the company’s OTR business. She joined Bridgestone in 2002.

Carl Jonientz, owner of Tiny’s Tire Center Point S in Tacoma, Wash., was among the dealers who brought their families to the dealer meeting. Carlyn Jonientz, 10, walked the trade show floor with her dad.
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No Rest for Point S Dealers After Successful 2017

The 212 stores in Tire Factory Inc.’s network sold 6.5% more tires in 2017 than in 2016, and they increased overall sales by 8%. There was improvement in same-store sales — dealers who have rebranded to the Point S banner increased sales by 5.5%, and those who haven’t were up 3.5%.

Your employees need to be aware of the consequences of aggressive driving and road rage. Have training in place to teach them how to prevent, avoid and de-esculate a traffic situation that may adversely affect the company.
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Operating Service Trucks Presents Risks

Given all of the hazards associated with roadside tire service, it still only represents about half the risk for commercial tire dealers. Yes — you read that correctly — half the risk.

Greg Smith, left, publisher of Modern Tire Dealer, moderated the off-the-road tire panel discussion. Six of the panelists are Gary Pompo of BKT USA; Rob Seibert of Bridgestone Americas; Shawn Rasey of Continental Tire the Americas; Jimmy McDonnell of Maxam Tire North America; Andrew Davis of Nokian Tyres; and Manny Cicero of Triangle Tire USA.  
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2018 TIA OTR Tire Conference Wrap-up

One of the highlights of the annual Tire Industry Association (TIA) OTR Tire Conference is the tire manufacturers’ panel discussion. This year, seven companies had executives participate. The 2018 panel discussion was held on Feb. 23, which was prior to the government’s announcement that it would be looking to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. Each panelist was given the opportunity to discuss his company’s position in the market, views on the industry and plans for the future. What follows is a summation of each panelist’s prepared comments.

After another tire dealer closed in Baldwin City, Kan., Bill Leach bought the building and opened his second location, Mr. Tire of Baldwin. Leach plans to open three or four more locations in eastern Kansas. “At this point anything else I would build would be a Mr. Tire.”
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Program Groups Help Dealers Focus on Selling

Bill Leach had wanted to expand beyond his one-store tire business in Paola, Kan., for some time. So when he finally found the perfect location for a second store, about 30 miles away in Baldwin City, Kan., he was ready to roll. And one decision at least was an easy one.

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Dealers Have Upbeat Outlook for Volume Trends Going Forward

According to the results of our survey, demand for passenger and light truck replacement tires at retail was essentially the same in February versus the prior year’s period, which mitigates some of the positive momentum the industry had built since October 2017.

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